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Pallet Picket Fence

Last weekend we finally completed the pallet picket fence project we’d been intending to complete for the past couple of months.  If you remember, I gave you a sneak peak of what the finished side yard will look like here.  Then, last week I gave you a quick update on the start of the fence.  Today, I’ll be sharing how we built a picket fence from pallets.  Grab yourself some breakfast and a big shot of caffeine because this is a long one.  😉

Based on our calculations with four corner fence sections (one side at 7′ and the other at 2′), we determined we’d need 16 posts.  This fence truly serves as a decorative fence so we didn’t feel the need to use 4×4 posts.  However, we actually had some left over from another project so the hubby cut those into 1×1 posts at 34″ tall.  I know, any professional would scold us for this, but again, 4x4s would be overkill.  We wanted to make this project solely from reused materials so we modified what we had on hand to make it work yet still be sturdy enough.

This image shows the stakes where the posts will be placed.

We were also working on leveling because this area slopes down with the driveway.  The hubby had one long string running the length of imaginary fence (at this point) and used a level to determine ‘our’ level for the fence.  Visually we decided that running with the slope of the driveway wouldn’t look right, but also running at true level wouldn’t quite be right because the bottom of the fence would raise 4″ off the ground on one end.  So, we decided to go with ‘our’ level; in-between the slope of the driveway and true level.

Using the post digger for those 16 holes.

We only went 10″ deep because there would be minimal weight (only climbing vines) on the structure.

After digging all 16 holes out came the fence post concrete mix.

Be sure to wear a mask so you don’t inhail this lovely stuff.  Before pouring the mix, we put water in the hole to allow the mix to harden quicker.

With the hole half filled, we sprayed more water.

The hubby used a small stick to work out any bubbles.

Before the mix could harden, he checked level and then finished filling the hole.

 He then screwed support stakes to keep the post level while the concrete was hardening.  Then, he finished off the hole with another spray of water.

Five hours later all 16 posts are in!

After allowing the concrete to harden over night, the hubby then screwed in the horizontal support pieces for the pickets.  You’ll notice we kept the yellow level line in place.  This made it super quick to get those in place.

All 24 in place:

Next up, the start of the pickets.  We started on a corner, leveled, and brad nailed them in to the horizontal supports (using 1-3/4″ nails).

In an earlier post the hubby ripped all the pickets to 2-3/4″ wide by 32″ tall.  We determined this width based on the length of our fence and how much space we wanted in-between each picket.  We made it simple for ourselves by making the width of the picket and amount of space in-between equal.  So, the process of putting up the pickets was super easy.  We nailed in a picket; placed a picket spacer next to it; and then placed the soon-to-be nailed in picket next to that.

 Picket spacer gone and soon-to-be nailed in picket is left.  Of course before nailing in, we leveled it and checked the height.

A couple of hours later we finished and then I got to spraying down the fence to clean it up a bit to accept the primer.

The hubby primed and painted the fence.

And here it is…

We made the fence a pretty simple design – no fancy angled pickets or different heights.  Eventually the picket fence won’t even really be seen because of the climbing vines that’ll grow on it plus the plants that’ll be in front of the fence.  Why go into elaborate detail when you won’t see it, right?  I’m sure you also noticed the ‘white’ dirt too.  We didn’t worry about covering the ground because there’s a good portion of dirt that’ll be removed for the plantings.  That dirt is horribly hard clay.  We need some earthy, dark compost in its place so the plants will be happy and sing to us!

The only money we spent on this project was $10 on four bags of post concrete mix.  We picked up the pallets for free from a Craigslist posting and everything else we had on hand from other projects.

Have a fabulous weekend!


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Tammy Vogt - I just love this idea and seriously gonna do this.

Summer Garden

It’s been such a weird summer for us, one day it’s 100 degrees and the next it’s 65 and drizzling.  I’m not sure the veggies and flowers quite know what to do.  They’ve been either unusually large or unusually small.  Unusually huge is our summer squash/zucchini.  We’ve been handing it out left and right – we seriously can’t keep up.  From one little seed we’ve spawned 12 of those suckers in the last couple of weeks.  There’s about 30 more flowers on the plant right now.  If anyone needs any zucchini, you know who to call!  😉

Since it’s been a while, I thought I’d share some garden images with you:

I’ve had a couple of friends ask how I keep the dahlia’s upright without stakes.  My answer… You got me!  They’re in their third year; for the first time are five feet tall; and this is the first year I haven’t had to stake them.  Where’s the logic in that?

Our herb garden has gone uncontrollably wild on me.  Really, it’s my fault for not pruning, but holy cow I can’t keep up!  I’m growing basil, oregano, thyme. sage, chamomile, cilantro, coriander, chives, savory, parsley, cress and borage which has a beautiful flower on it by the way.  Here’s some flowering dill.

Two years ago, I bought six different varieties of garlic seed from an organic farm in Oregon (I can’t remember the name to save my life right now).  When I pulled the garlic last summer they were literally the size of my fist or larger and flavorFULL.  I figured since the bulbs were so large, if I reserved some large cloves for seed I may get a decent sized bulb for the next crop (this summer).  I read everywhere not to do that, but heck, what would it hurt?  So, I ran with the experiment.  A couple of weeks ago I pulled the garlic and came up with some decent sized bulbs, nowhere near last summer’s size, but better than grocery store size.  I also came up with some really small ones too as you can see in the background of the image below.

Will I do that again?  Well, we love garlic around here and use it like it’s going out of style.  The bigger bulb the better for this household!  So to answer the question… probably not, but it was worth trying once!

The ‘Incrediball’ hydrangea plants have doubled in size from last year and keep producing tons of blooms.  I’m loving it!

The hydrangea ‘Limelight’ is chugging along at about four feet tall, only in its second year.  It starts out a chartreuse color before turning white.  So pretty!

This next image is from Annie’s Annuals because I completely forgot to take a picture of mine.  A summer hasn’t passed by where a stranger hasn’t knocked on the door asking what it is and where to get it.  It really is stunning especially planted en mass.

This is my first time growing Lisianthus ‘Echo Blue’ and it’s a show stopper.  The saturated color is a stand out in the garden!  I didn’t do the flower justice in this picture.

 This next picture was taken two weeks ago and everything has doubled in size.  The corn is taller than the house!  In this box we have two different varieties of blueberries (in the top box), white corn, cucumber, banana melon, honeydew orange, zucchini, and rutgers tomato.  I need more room!

This past winter, we bought a 4-in-1 fruit salad tree (nectarine, peach, plum, and apricot) as we’re a little tight on space.  Here’s a picture of our first plums.  Can’t wait to bite into one!

This next beauty is a New Zealand Purple Castor Bean I bought in the spring.  The label said it was only supposed to get three feet tall.  It’s most definitely five feet tall now and it’s not done growing!  Time for a little snippy-poo.

This was the first year our Roman Artichoke produced for us (as it’s only in its second year) and boy did it produce.  We got over 30 artichokes and thoroughly enjoyed each one!  We left a couple on the plant because the flower is so pretty.

Last but not least, I have a picture of some baby Darby tomatoes.  I’m a bit of a tomato lover as our garden proves.  We have Rutger, Darby, Berkeley Tie-Dye, and Snow White – the sweetest tomato I’ve ever tasted!!!  Snow Whites rarely make it into the house because I sit at the plant and eat away.  Yum! Yum!

Once we inch closer to fall, I’ll post more garden pictures.  I can’t wait to show you my wall of Vigna Caracalla in full bloom.  It’s one of my favorite flowers not only for its beauty but its incredible scent!

Check in with me on Friday because I’ll be sharing our completed picket fence project!




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